Our Lady of Mariposas at NHCC

WHAT:  Our Lady of Mariposas, a play by Alix Hudson

WHEN:  September 17-20, 2015 Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 pm. Sunday at 2:00 pm

WHERE: National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque

Tickets: $10 Thursday, $18 general admission w/ $3 discount for seniors and students

               (505) 724-4771

Teatro Paraguas launches its 12th season and its second appearance in the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Siembra Latino Theater Festival with a premiere production of Santa Fe playwright Alix Hudson’s play Our Lady of Mariposas.

The play, which builds a story of a family in southeastern New Mexico around the massive die-off of monarch butterflies in the winter of 2002, will be presented in the Wells Fargo Theater at NHCC for one weekend of performances beginning Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 pm.

portrait of the playwright as a young girl

playing the role of Anza in Our Lady of Mariposas

Manuel (played by Jason Jaramillo) is trying to raise his seven-year-old daughter Esperanza (played by Maya Sanchez)

alone after his wife Estrella has inextricably disappeared.  The only clue to her whereabouts are cryptic postcards without return addresses posted from different cities.  The play unfolds as a memory play related by Esperanza as a grown woman (played by Rosario Roybal).  The next-door neighbor in the run-down apartment complex, Kate (played by Liza Frolkis), tries to help the father and daughter as they wait and hope for Estrella’s return.  The three are also waiting for the return migration from Mexico of the monarch butterflies.  The cast is rounded out by Manuel’s work buddies, Dave (played by Tomás Rivera) and Eulogio (played by Daric Gutierrez).  Guitarist JoJo Sena de Tarnoff performs original music throughout the play.  The cast have all appeared in previous Teatro Paraguas productions.

Our Lady of Mariposas, directed by Argos MacCallum, is the latest offering by TP of plays by New Mexico playwrights.  Founded in 2004 by a group of international artists and actors, TP is dedicated to producing bilingual poetry and theatre, and contemporary Hispanic/Latino plays. Since then, TP has staged 48 productions, including 12 in its ¡Poesía Viva! poetry performance series, which honors international and local poets who wrote in Spanish. Many of these productions have been presented at NHCC.

In September 2014, Teatro Paraguas presented When The Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco as the inaugural production in the Siembra Latino Theater Festival.  The play, written and directed by Shebana Coelho, is based on the oral histories recorded in the 1970’s by noted historian Nasario Garcia of  former residents of four villages along the Rio Puerco which were abandoned beginning in the 1950’s due to drought and economic hardship.  Many of the descendants of the actual persons portrayed in the play saw the play as members of the audience.

Teatro Paraguas has also produced plays by New Mexico playwrights Angelo Jaramillo, Rosario Roybal, Linda Pedro de Martinez, Joey Chavez, Patricia Crespin, Robert Benjamin, and Mary Mier, among others.

Alix Hudson is a teacher, playwright, and all-around theatre person. She graduated from Colorado College with a BA in play writing/drama in 2011, where she participated in close to 40 productions. She wrote her first draft of Our Lady of Mariposas in early summer 2011, when her life-long love of Monarchs and milkweed blended with an unshakeable image of a little girl, who could not stop asking where her mother was. Learning more both about the horrors in Grants and the vernacular richness of New Mexico has lead to the current version of this  play.

Alix has done a variety of teching and performing in northern New Mexico. Most recently she has had acted in the

Whitman/Neruda poetry show (Word Over All), had one acts featured in Fusion's The Second 7 and The Taos Gorilla Theater Festival, and directed a play, Sunrise at Otowi Bridge, as part of Los Alamos ScienceFest. She is currently working on a new play and her one act Incarnadine will be performed at the Los Alamos Little Theater in November as part of their 8'x10's; she will also be directing Quiara Alegría Hudes' brilliant piece, Yemayá's Belly, at Teatro Paraguas in October. 

She teaches bilingual, special education preschool in Santa Fe.

Director Argos MacCallum is a co-founder and current Executive Director of Teatro Paraguas.  He has worked with various New Mexico theater companies since 1970, including Teatro Nuevo Mexico, Wise Fool New Mexico, and the Santa Fe Playhouse.  His directorial credits include Life is a Dream, Fuenteovejuna, September Shoes, Camino Real, Fortunato, and El Delantal Blanco.  He is also a stage and film actor, with appearances in Breaking Bad, Appaloosa, Night Shift, and other films.